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Knobs & handles: A guide to choosing and installing hardware that transforms your kitchen

Gazing around your kitchen, your head spills with creative ideas to enliven the space over the incoming weekend. You’ve been meaning to swap out your kitchen knobs and handles for a while now, wanting to inject a new lease of life into your old cupboards and drawers without a massive overhaul. You decide it’s time to go for it, the anticipation of those little metallic flashes bouncing light around the kitchen spurring you into action.

Image courtesy of @barbaracortesi_interiors

Which handles where?

Throwing caution to the wind, you ditch the tape measure, opting to go big on your cupboards and drawers by choosing kitchen handles with backplates to eradicate any need for filling and sanding pre-existing holes. After extensive research, you’ve learned that there are no hard and fast rules to choosing new handles.

Knobs and handles can be interchanged across cupboards and drawers depending on the aesthetic you want, so you go with your heart, choosing glam and sophisticated beauties that you’re hoping will transform your practical room into a grown-up haven that’s perfect for entertaining, romancing and unwinding.

Shiny new handles sitting pretty in their box, you slip into your go-to DIY attire – baggy paint-splattered jeans and a loose-fitting band tee. Getting back to work, you wipe down the cupboards and remove the old handles. Swapping out those old-fashioned knobs already feels transformative, and you can’t wait to see the finished look.

Quick tips for installing new handles and knobs

  1. There are no rules style-wise – handles on drawers, knobs on cupboards, mix and match or all uniform. The choice is yours. Have fun with finishes, textures, styles and sizes to create a look that’s practical for you and your space
  2. Use a drilling guide to ensure your knobs and handles are in the correct position
  3. Check your screw length. Too long and you risk damaging your handles, too short and they won’t be secure enough
  4. Never use an electric screwdriver – this can over-tighten the screw, causing it to snap
  5. Use a dab of superglue when fitting drawer knobs to prevent them from spinning
  6. You don’t have to stick to the same size handle that’s already on your cupboard, be brave and swap them out for a heftier size or go discrete and opt for knobs – you can always refill the holes. If you’d prefer to conceal the old holes, go for a handle with a backplate, like this hive handle, to conceal any mess.
  7. Always drill your holes starting from the outside to ensure your new handles sit exactly where you want them to. The beginning of the hole is also neater, so drilling this way will give you the most professional-looking finish.

Pulling the look together

Screwing the last of the brass handles onto the drawer, you stand, stretch your arms above your head and survey your hard work. A multitude of miniature reflections radiate from each handle and you grin in admiration. It was only a quick spruce, but swapping out those functional handles for something beautiful and statement-making has made the world of difference. 

Pleased as punch and feeling thoroughly inspired, you look for more quick changes to make in your kitchen, starting with sourcing dried foliage for your new vase and perhaps a fresh paint shade to liven up the walls…

Show us yours!

Don’t forget to tag @dowsingandreynolds in your DIY projects, we love to see how you’re using our handles and hardware.

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Written by: Keren

Keren loves tea, tattoos, dinosaurs and all things Gothic. An eclectic mix of interests we think you'll agree, but she fits right in here! Keren is part of our ever expanding marketing team and supports Lyz in all things copy related.

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